NTSPP – 254 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 254

NTSPP – 254

A Puzzle by Imsety

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Today Imsety becomes the second setter to graduate from Rookie Corner.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Another graduate of the Rookie Corner makes a well deserved appearance as a setter for Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle.  Congratulations to Imsety and thanks to him for an entertaining crossword.  As I am snowed under with visiting family, services, rehearsals for services, organising presents, cooking, etc, the review lacks its usual pictures for which, apologies.


1 A construction to suddenly collapse, for example (5,10)
SPLIT INFINITIVE – “To suddenly collapse” is an example of this divisive grammatical construction.

9 Old-fashioned political organisation that is not saving the banks (7)
ANCIENT – The abbreviation for the African National Congress (political organisation) followed by the abbreviation for that is and the outer letters (saving – or keeping – the banks) of not.

10 Is unable to find butchers on main road (7)
MISLAYS – The main road is the name of a motorway.  This is followed by a word meaning butchers or kills.

11 Warm up for preliminary race (4)
HEAT – A double definition.

12 Sulks about deterioration to tracksuit? (10)
SPORTSWEAR – Reverse (about) a word meaning sulks or temper tantrums and follow this by a word meaning deterioration.

13 Got rid of second journalist after instigators of hacking implicated newspaper (7)
SHIFTED – The abbreviation for second followed by the initial letters (instigators of) of hacking implicated and the short name for the Financial Times (newspaper) with the abbreviation for a journalist after all of this.

15 City of 500 inhabitants – it’s disappeared! (7)
DRESDEN – The Roman numeral for 500 followed by a word for inhabitants with the I, T and S removed (it’s disappeared).

17 Supervised deliveries; with a quarter being sent back (7)
OVERSAW – A word (in the singular) for deliveries in a cricket game followed by a reversal (being sent back) of the abbreviation for with, the A from the clue and the abbreviation for south (quarter).

19 Disembark to the east of channel, finding landlocked region (7)
RUTLAND – A word meaning to disembark (from a ship) goes after (to the east of) another word for a channel.

20 Prior to enquiry’s launch bent cops meant to make amends (10)
COMPENSATE – An anagram (bent) of COP MEANT before (prior to) the first letter (launch) of enquiry.

22 Airbrush a model’s features – fake? (4)
SHAM – The answer is hidden in (features) AIRBRUSH A MODEL.

25 Candid religious teaching following immorality at church (7)
SINCERE – A word for immorality followed by the abbreviation for Church of England and an abbreviation for religious teaching.

26 Core parts of hastily built generator in plant stopped working (7)
RETIRED – The middle letters (core parts of) hasTily, buIlt and geneRator go inside a type or marsh or river plant.

27 Separatists regularly crusading about flag (5,3,7)
STARS AND STRIPES – An anagram (about) of SEPARATISTS and RSDN (the even letters – regularly) of crusading.


1 Cut strip of cloth, limiting length (5)
SLASH – A word for a strip of cloth goes around (limiting) a word for a strip of cloth that is worn.

2 Inventing vital cure is financially rewarding (9)
LUCRATIVE – An anagram (inventing) of VITAL CURE.

3 Restrained by movement of water, say (4)
TIED – A homophone (say) of a word for the movement of sea water caused by the influence of the moon.

4 Assistant breaks well-known piece of stationery (7)
NOTEPAD – The abbreviation for a secretarial assistant goes inside (breaks) a word meaning well-known.

5 Incarcerated juvenile released at dawn, originally (7)
IMMURED – Another word meaning juvenile or not fully grown has the AT removed (released at) followed by the first letter (originally) of dawn.

6 Forceful nun has no right to undermine popular books of the Bible (9)
INSISTENT – A word for a nun without the R (has no right) goes after (to undermine) a word meaning popular.  This is followed by the abbreviation for the New Testament (books of the bible).

7 Mad confession of judge? (5)
IRATE – Split (1,4) what a judge may say he does!

8 Rising anger about reorganisation of NHS, backing study that’s legally protected (9)
ENSHRINED – A word for anger is reversed (rising) and goes around (about) an anagram (reorganisation of NHS and followed by (backing) a word for a study.

13 Exhibits in glass cabinets (9)
SHOWCASES – A double (almost single) definition as the verb and the noun forms of the answer are so closely connected.

14 Bland stew almost transformed with salt, eating rest without side portions (9)
TASTELESS – An anagram (transformed) of STE (stew almost) SALT includes (eating) the inner letters (without side portions) of rESt.

16 Dangerous vehicle‘s passing horse-drawn carriage (9)
DEATHTRAP – Another word for passing (in the sense of dying) followed by the name of a horse-drawn carriage.

18 Films from script editor form part of new, uplifting genre (7)
WESTERN – The outer letters (films from) of script and editor go inside (form part of) a reversal (uplifting) of the NEW from the clue.

19 Spacecraft, deprived of one group of engineers, initially slows down (7)
RETARDS – Doctor Who’s spacecraft has the I removed (deprived of one) and before this (initially) you put a word for a group of engineers in the army.

21 State intelligence agency; it’s full of smart people! (5)
MENSA – The abbreviation for the state of Maine followed by the abbreviation for the National Security Agency.

23 Being familiar with gold, Archimedes unexpectedly let out excited cheer (5)
MIDAS – A king who was familiar with gold.  An anagram (unexpectedly) of ARCHIMEDES after removing (let out) the jumbled letters (excited) in CHEER.

24 Prison disturbance (4)
STIR – A double definition, the first being an informal term for prison.

11 comments on “NTSPP – 254

  1. Ooh – first to comment – I suppose people are busy today but we’re fairly organised so I’ve had time to do it.
    I thought this was very good, and difficult – it’s taken me quite a long time, even by my standards.
    Finished now by which I mean I have answers for everything but I’ve got question marks by six that I don’t understand, although I think they’re OK.
    I’ve been caught before by a clue similar to 1a but that didn’t stop me from being caught again.
    I liked 1 (eventually) and 13a and 6, 14 and 16d.
    With thanks and congratulations on the graduation to Imsety.

  2. Thanks Imsety for an enjoyable solve. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    I, too, got caught by 1a at the beginning.

    One or two small points. In 9, ‘saving’ unfortunately has two opposing meanings; one meaning ‘keeping,’ the other ‘excepting for.’ 19 has the same word in clue and answer, and personally I would have gone for the singular ‘film’ in 18.

    I ticked 5, 8, 16, & 26

    1. Three of your four ticked clues (I think they must be the ones that you particularly liked) are three of the six that I don’t get. I’m sure that this must say something but I’m not quite sure what – suspect it’s that you’re cleverer than I am! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif. Happy Christmas to you anyway.

  3. Really good fun we thought. We are still working on the parsing of 13a but have sorted out everything else. Just loved 1a but there are lots of other very good clues too.
    While writing this and before pressing the ‘Post Comment’ button the penny has just dropped for 13a. Real LEGO stuff!
    Many thanks Imsety.

  4. Really enjoyable – thanks Imsety. I particularly liked the fact that the surface readings were all meaningful. Top clues for me were 10a, 16d and 19d.

  5. Phew – that was hard work, but well worth the effort. I ‘liked’ all the same ones as Kath, all of Windsurfer’s ticks and several others besides, so perhaps best just to say – thank you, Imsety, for a fine puzzle with many great clues!

  6. Thanks Imsety a very enjoyable puzzle. Just on the cusp of my solving ability.

    CS that loud noise you heard this morning was my DOH when I sorted 1a.

  7. Sounds as though you’ve got a hectic Christmas in your household, Prolixic! Many thanks for finding the time to do the much needed review for this one. I’d never have justified the answers to 17a or 21d without your help and am still a little uncomfortable with the definition at 7d.

    Still think it was a great puzzle – I’m sure we’ll see plenty more from Imsety in the future.

  8. Great crossword indeed. Some very clever construction.
    Even 17a was misleading as I had overs for deliveries and a west for the quarter but the sent back made me think I was wrong. Thankfully 18d proved I had the right answer.
    Unfortunately 1a was left with regular letters and had to resort to the click here button. Not very good at grammar.
    Thanks to Imsety for the 4 star fun and to Prolixic for the review.

  9. I think my brain has switched to full Christmas panic mode about things left to do because I could not get into the crossword groove today.1A was the first one in, and the left hand side went in smoothly enough, but then I came to a grinding halt with most of the right hand side a blank. Having read the review, they were all fair and good clues, so it was just me being dense. Of those I managed, I loved 1A and 21D (a bit of a “gimme” for me) and once I’d worked 13A out I thought it was brilliant. Thanks Imetsy, and thanks also to Prolixic for the much needed review.

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